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Ludwig Center Director Bert Vogelstein honored by AACR

Mar 23, 2012

Source: American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

Newswise, CHICAGO—The American Association for Cancer Research will award Bert Vogelstein, M.D., with the Eighth Annual AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012, held here March 31 - April 4.

Vogelstein’s lecture, “Cancer genomics and their implications for research and patients,” will take place on Monday, April 2 at 3:30 p.m. CT in the Skyline Ballroom of McCormick Place.

“We congratulate Dr. Vogelstein on his paradigm-shifting research in the application of molecular biology to the study of human cancer,” said Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the AACR. “His landmark contributions have stimulated new thinking about cancer science and its potential clinical impact.”

The AACR-Irving Weinstein Foundation Distinguished Lectureship was established in 2004 to acknowledge an individual whose outstanding innovations in science and whose position as a thought leader have the potential to inspire creative thinking and new directions in cancer research.

“When Judy Garber invited me to give this award, she said that its major purpose was to ‘inspire young investigators towards creative avenues of research.’ That purpose resonated with me, as young investigators, particularly students and post-docs, have been responsible for virtually all of the advances in cancer research, and our future is in their hands,” said Vogelstein, director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics, professor of oncology and pathology and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“This lecture will give me a chance to highlight the work of the young investigators in my laboratory, and to emphasize how many opportunities there are for creative uses of the information gained from cancer genetics in the immediate future,” he added.

Vogelstein’s scientific expertise is in determining the molecular and genetic causes of cancer. In the late 1980’s, he formulated a model for the development of colorectal tumors that has formed the conceptual basis for understanding solid tumors in general. Since that time, he has devoted his career to identifying the genes and mutations predicted by his model. In the process, he, together with long-time collaborator Kenneth W. Kinzler, Ph.D., and their team, have discovered many of the genetic alterations that underlie numerous forms of human cancers, including those in such well-known genes as p53, APC, b-catenin, PIK3CA, and IDH1.

Currently, Vogelstein’s research team is interested in engineering novel ways to diagnose cancer as well as an individual’s degree of susceptibility toward developing cancer based on his or her genetics. Such techniques would allow for early detection of potentially oncogenic mutations through routine blood tests.

Vogelstein obtained his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he also completed his internship and residency in pediatrics. During his postdoctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, he focused his research on new techniques in molecular biology.

He has been honored with numerous awards including, but not limited to, the Young Investigator Award from the American Federation for Clinical Research, The Gairdner Foundation International Award in Science, the Pezcoller Foundation AACR-International Award for Cancer Research, the Richard Lounsbery Award from the National Academy of Sciences and the AACR G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award. Vogelstein is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the European Molecular Biology Organization.